A jury found appellant, Marco A. Cruz, guilty of the offense of aggravated robbery, as charged in the indictment. The jury assessed his punishment at 45 years in prison. Because the indictment alleged that appellant used a deadly weapon, namely, a firearm, in the commission of the offense, the trial court included an affirmative deadly-weapon finding in the judgment of conviction. Continue reading
Walter Lee V. McCreary was certified to stand trial as an adult for the felony offense of capital murder. A jury found him guilty, and the trial court assessed punishment at confinement for life. In his sole issue on appeal, McCreary contends that the trial court erred by failing to suppress his oral statements obtained in violation of the Family Code. We affirm. Continue reading
After the trial court denied his motion to suppress evidence from his seized computer, Brady Madison Kohler pleaded guilty to the offense of possession of child pornography without an agreed recommendation as to punishment. The trial court deferred a finding of guilt and placed Kohler on community supervision for five years. On appeal, Kohler contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the State failed to prove, beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that it had valid consent to seize his computer and thus violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. See U.S. Const. amend. IV; Tex. Const. Art. 1, 9. Finding no error, we affirm. Continue reading
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the clerk of the trial court transmitted to this Court this application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967). Applicant was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In his present application, Applicant raises five grounds challenging his conviction. This application, however, presents a more serious question. Applicant alleges that he was convicted on the basis of perjured testimony and prosecutorial misconduct, that his counsel at trial and on appeal was ineffective, that he was denied counsel at a critical stage, and that he is actually innocent of this offense. In support of his allegations, Applicant submitted a document purporting to be a true and correct transcription of a the plea hearing in which Applicant’s brother and co-defendant pleaded guilty to the same offense. According to Applicant, his brother pleaded guilty as the primary actor who shot the victim causing his death. Continue reading
The majority holds that statutory county court judges lack the authority to issue a search warrant to be executed outside of their own county. Maj. op. at 10. The judge here had the authority to issue the search warrant. The real issue is whether the police had the authority to execute the warrant outside of Montgomery County. I would remand to the court of appeals to determine whether the search warrant became invalid because it was executed in Harris County. Continue reading
The State asks this Court to reverse the judgment of the court of appeals, which held that a blood-draw search warrant to be executed in a designated county may not be issued by a statutory county court judge of another county. Sanchez v. State, No. 01-10-00433-CR, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 3824 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] May 19, 2011). We granted the State’s petition for discretionary review and will affirm the judgment of the court of appeals. Continue reading
Appellant was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Tex. Penal Code §29.03(2). During a recess in jury deliberations on the second day of appellant’s trial, the jury foreman sent a note to the trial judge stating, “We have one juror who refuses to deliberate this case any further nor take the facts, testimony, of this case into account. I request she be removed from the jury.” (1) After questioning the foreman about the juror’s actions, the trial judge indicated an intent to dismiss the juror, Regina Collins, and seat an alternate. Defense counsel requested that the trial judge question the recalcitrant juror directly, which the trial judge refused to do. Instead, the trial judge again questioned the foreman about Collins’s issues and, finding the foreman credible, dismissed Collins over defense counsel’s objection and seated an alternate. Within half an hour of replacing Collins, the jury reached a verdict. It later assessed appellant’s punishment at 20 years’ confinement. Continue reading
On our own motion, we issue this opinion in the place of our October 6, 2010 opinion. Sanchez v. State, ___ S.W.3d ___, PD-0961-07, 2010 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 1242 (Tex. Crim. App. Oct. 6, 2010) (not yet reported). This opinion addresses the State’s petition for discretionary review challenging the decision by the Thirteenth Court of Appeals on the appeal filed by appellant, Orlando Sanchez. See Sanchez v. State, 221 S.W.3d 769, 774 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi 2007). Having withdrawn our former opinion, we overrule the State’s motion for rehearing, overrule appellant’s pro se motion for rehearing, (1) and dismiss appellant’s attorney’s motion for rehearing as untimely filed. Continue reading
Appellant, Miguel Angel Martinez, filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus following the trial court’s imposition of deferred-adjudication community supervision, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to properly advise appellant of the deportation consequences of a guilty plea. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 11.072. After a hearing at which appellant testified, the trial court denied relief. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment, holding that counsel’s advice that a guilty plea could result in deportation was constitutionally sufficient. Ex parte Martinez, No. 13-10-00390-CR, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 5625 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi, July 21, 2011) (mem. op., not designated for publication). Appellant contends that Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), requires more definite advice, namely, that a guilty plea would result in “automatic” deportation. We vacate the judgment of the court of appeals and remand to that court to address appellant’s claim. Continue reading
A jury found Appellant guilty of driving while intoxicated and the trial court assessed punishment at thirty years’ imprisonment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Anderson v. State, 341 S.W.3d 585 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2011). Appellant has filed a petition for discretionary review contending the Court of Appeals erred in holding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow defense counsel to question the jury panel about its understanding of the differences between the State’s burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the burdens of proof applicable in non-criminal cases. Continue reading
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the clerk of the trial court transmitted to this Court this application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967). Applicant was convicted of possession of child pornography and sentenced to sixteen years’ imprisonment. The Ninth Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Benner v. State, No. 09-08-00458-CR (Tex. App.-Beaumont July 7, 2010, pet. dism’d). Continue reading
These cases deal with whether an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed under Article 11.07 is timely when the applicant files it on the same day that a court of appeals issues its mandate in the applicant’s direct appeal. We hold that, absent contrary evidence, a mandate is presumed to issue at 9:00 a.m. on the day the court of appeals issues it, thereby making any writ application filed later in the day timely. Continue reading
In carrying out a plea bargain, Justin Dominique Hope a/k/a Justin Dominic Hope pled no contest to the offense of retaliation. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 36.06 (West 2011). After accepting Hope’s plea, the trial court sentenced Hope to five years in prison.
Hope’s appellate counsel filed a brief that presents counsel’s professional evaluation of the record and concludes the appeal is frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967); High v. State, 573 S.W.2d 807 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978). On February 2, 2012, we granted an extension of time for Hope to file a pro se brief. We received no response from Hope. Continue reading
In accordance with a plea-bargain agreement, William Earl Durham entered a plea of guilty to the offense of burglary of a habitation. The trial court found evidence sufficient to find Durham guilty, deferred further proceedings, placed Durham on community supervision for five years, and assessed a $1,000 fine. The State subsequently filed a motion to revoke Durhams unadjudicated community supervision. At the hearing on the States motion to revoke, Durham pled not true to the allegation that he violated the conditions of his community supervision by failing to register as a sex offender. After hearing testimony and receiving evidence, the trial court found that Durham violated the terms of his community supervision, found him guilty of burglary of a habitation, and assessed his punishment at 20 years confinement. The trial court assessed administrative fees of $3,060. The administrative fee balance sheet indicates that $1,000 of the administrative fees is attributable to attorney fees. Continue reading
Court of Appeals
Ninth District of Texas at Beaumont
eighteen months in state jail, and assessed a $1,500 fine. On appeal, Shepherd, acting pro
se, challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction and complains
that the theft indictment also charged him with bond forfeiture. We affirm the trial Continue reading
Following a jury trial, appellant, Terry Lee Piasecki, was convicted of sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery. Piasecki was sentenced to concurrent life sentences for each offense. On appeal, Piasecki argues that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting certain evidence, that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his conviction for robbery, and that he was provided inef fective assistance of counsel. After considering the arguments and authorities of counsel and a review of the record of the trial proceedings, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. Continue reading
Court of Appeals
Ninth District of Texas at Beaumont
A jury found Herman Benard guilty of murder and assessed punishment at forty- eight years of imprisonment. Benard fatally shot April King while she was on Benard’s front porch. Benard raises six issues on appeal.
In Benard’s first issue, he argues the trial court erred in allowing a witness to speculate. Specifically, he complains of the following testimony of what occurred prior to the shooting: Continue reading
Charlie Julian Foshee appeals from the trial court’s assessment of a 20-year sentence. Raising one appellate issue, Foshee contends that the trial court’s cumulation order and judgment are void. We modify the judgment and affirm it as modified.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, Foshee pled guilty to the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The trial court found the evidence sufficient to find Foshee guilty, but deferred finding him guilty. The trial court placed Foshee on community supervision for ten years. The State subsequently filed a motion to revoke Foshee’s unadjudicated community supervision. Foshee pled true to four violations of the terms of his community supervision. The trial court found Foshee violated the terms of the community supervision order, revoked Foshee’s community supervision, and found him guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced him to 20 years of confinement. Continue reading
Patrick Jeroid Jones, currently incarcerated on a sexual assault conviction that was affirmed by this Court on May 20, 2001, was found guilty for tampering with a witness (the victim) of his sexual assault. Jones wrote a letter to the victim in which he explained how, if she would recant her story and thus help obtain his release from prison, the State of Texas would be required to pay him a large amount of money for his time wrongfully spent in prison, and he would use that money to take care of all her needs. After conviction, a jury assessed his punishment at five years’ imprisonment, which is to run consecutive to the remainder of the twenty-year term he is currently serving. Continue reading
Before Justices Morris, Moseley, and Myers
Opinion By Justice Morris
After a jury found Gregory Donel Johnson guilty of robbery, appellant and the State entered an agreement with respect to punishment. In accordance with the plea agreement, the trial court assessed punishment, enhanced by two prior felony convictions, at twenty-six years’ imprisonment. Appellant waived his right to appeal in conjunction with the plea agreement. 1 See Blanco v. State, 18 S.W.3d 218 (Tex. Crim App. 2000). The trial court’s certification states appellant waived his right to appeal. See Dears v. State, 154 S.W.3d 610, 614-15 (Tex. Crim. App.2005). We dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction. Continue reading